When searching for a new central air conditioner for your home, many consumers turn towards brand names they know and trust. One of those names is Rheem, a company that first got its start in 1925. This company is one of the leaders when it comes to high-efficiency air conditioners, although they carry a variety of heating products as well.
If you've been on the fence about Rheem air conditioners or have been wanting to compare this brand against one of their competitors, you’ve come to the right place. Our Rheem air conditioner review will cover all of the company's current AC units as well as their policies and warranties.
The History of the Rheem Air Conditioning Company
Donald and Richard Rheem brought the Rheem Manufacturing company to life in 1925 by producing galvanized steel drums. While that's a far cry from HVAC units, they eventually moved into water heaters before introducing the world to the Rheemaire Central HVAC System in 1956.
Over time the company began producing more air conditioning systems and was one of the first companies to use scroll compressors in residential equipment. The company produces products under the Ruud banner as well, but both are controlled by their parent company, Paloma.
Unique features from Rheem
When a company has been around for over a hundred years, they're bound to know a few tricks. Considering Rheem has been an innovator for decades, you'll find a variety of interesting technology in their products.
EcoNet Smart Thermostat
One of the flagship features from Rheem is the EcoNet thermostat. This is a smart home system similar to what you'll find from other manufacturers like Goodman or Trane. The smart thermostat works in conjunction with a mobile app that allows you to fine-tune the levels in your home from anywhere. It also lets you the phone in a service call with an HVAC technician from within the EcoNet mobile app.
The PlusOne System
You'll notice a few features carrying the PlusOne moniker with Rheem as well. It involves a few different features including the PlusOne Expanded Valve Space and Triple Service Access. The expanded area provided your HVAC contractor more room to with by giving them a 27 square inch working area. When coupled with the 15” wide service area, maintenance on your system will be a breeze. That can save you a lot of headaches and money in the long run.
Other features to note from Rheem include a powder-coated paint system, curved louver panels, and a composite base pan. Some units also have the popular Copeland Scroll variable speed compressor.
Rheem Central Air Conditioning Systems
|Unit Model||Efficiency Rating||Capacity(Tons)||Sound(dB)||Compressor|
|Rheem Prestige RA20||20 SEER||2-5||68-76||Variable-Speed|
|Rheem Classic Plus RA17||17 SEER||2-3||72.3-76.7||Two-Stage|
|Rheem Classic RA17 non communicating||17 SEER||2-3||72.3-76.7||Two-Stage|
|Rheem Classic RA16||16 SEER||1.5-5||70.7-76.6||Single-Stage|
|Rheem Classic RA14**W||16 SEER||1.5-3.5||73-75||Single-Stage|
|Rheem Classic RA14||16 SEER||1.5-5||74-77||Single-Stage|
|Rheem Classic RA13||13-15.5 SEER||1.5-5||73-79||Single-Stage|
Like most HVAC manufacturers, Rheem carries a number of units broken down by series. They don't have nearly as many collections or series as other manufacturers, although they do have plenty of AC units in their arsenal.
Rheem Prestige Series
When you want the best from Rheem, you want to consider their Prestige series AC units. At this time, there is only one system in that series with the Rheem Prestige RA20. The unit is available in 2, 3, 4, and 5-ton sizes with a variable speed compressor from Copeland. The RA20 had a SEER reaching of 20.5 and is an extremely efficient system. The Rheem Prestige RA20 is EcoNet capable and features some of the company’s top tech.
Rheem Classic Plus Series
When you don't need a 20 SEER system, the Rheem Classic series is the best tier for you. There are two types of systems in this class as well with two-stage and single-stage units.
The two-stage system is the RA17. There are 10 models in all, including a few variants which are not EcoNet enabled. Those non-communicating models still have a two-stage scroll compressor, just with a slightly different form factor. There are a total of eight units with EcoNet compatibility, but every two-stage system is rated at 17 SEER.
There's a lot more selection when it comes to Rheem's AC units with single-stage compressors. You'll have a choice between the Rheem RA16, RA14, and RA13. Again, there is little to no difference from one unit to the next when it comes to features. All Rheem Classic Plus series AC systems have PlusOne Access, a single-row condenser coil, powder-coated paint, and scroll compressors. The difference comes into play with the size and ratings.
The Rheem RA16 is listed with over 20 different units with sizes starting at 1.5-ton. The sizes go up by .5-ton until 4-ton and top out with a 5-ton Rheem RA16. The Rheem RA14 takes the same sizing route, just with fewer options. There is a variety of the RA14 as well although both have a top efficiency rating of up to 16 SEER. Rheem's RA13 rounds things out with an efficiency rating of 13 to 15.5 SEER.
Which Rheem AC unit offers the best ROI for your home?
After you’ve looked over a brand’s air conditioners and have settled on a line, your next step is to think about the SEER rating along with the ROI. While you can handle both calculations yourself with enough data, they are tricky to understand due to the number of factors involved. If you can come up with a few simple figures, including your yearly cooling hours and square footage, our tool will help you calculate the ROI.
Rheem AC Models Savings Calculator
Rheem Central Air Conditioner Pricing
|Unit Model||Unit Only Cost||Installed Cost|
|Rheem Prestige RA20||$2,750||$4,110|
|Rheem Classic Plus RA17||$2,240||$3,340|
|Rheem Classic RA17 non communicating||$2,100||$3,320|
|Rheem Classic RA16||$,2070||$3,090|
|Rheem Classic RA14**W||$1,810||$2,710|
|Rheem Classic RA14||$1,730||$2,580|
|Rheem Classic RA13||$1,560||$2,330|
|Note: The cost is based on a 2.5 ton outdoor condenser, with a matching evaporator coils. The cost doesn't include an air handler, heating system, or installation of the ductwork.|
As with any central air conditioning system manufacturer, the cost of a Rheem AC unit depends on the model. A Rheem dealer can help you narrow down pricing, but our chart can also give you a general idea of the cost as well.
Rheem AC Size & Cost Calculator
Rheem Savings Programs and Tax Credits
There are a few ways to save money if you decide to buy a Rheem central air conditioning system. From the company's website, you can access financing programs and apply online from the comfort of home. The company offers financing through Synchrony Bank and its residential KwikComfort program. Alternatively, you can head over to the rebate center on the company's website. It works in a similar fashion to every other HVAC manufacturer who has a rebate program. In other words, it allows you to find deals based on your ZIP code which ranges from a few hundred dollars up to $600 in rebates.
Rheem Central Air Conditioner Warranties
Rheem has a warranty process that's very easy to understand. As with most companies, you'll need to register your new unit to make the most of your warranty and take full advantage of the coverage they offer.
With their top model, you'll get a 10-year warranty on conditional parts in a 10-year conditional unit replacement warranty as well. You get the same warranty with their two-stage systems as well but you lose the conditional unit replacement guarantee when you go to a single-stage system.
How to find an Installer for your Rheem AC unit
Choosing the right size air conditioning unit for your home can save you a lot of money. Choosing the wrong HVAC technician can have the opposite effect and cost you a small fortune. When you're paying thousands of dollars for a new AC unit, it makes sense to hire a qualified professional to install your new system.
You have two options as you can either go through Rheem and find a contractor or contact a local HVAC technician. If you prefer to get quotes on your own, check out our contractor tool.
Overall, we feel Rheem central air conditioning units provide homeowners with a lot of bang for their buck. While they don't have the largest selection a variable speed or dual-stage AC units, their systems are affordable and highly efficient with low running costs. With that in mind, a few common complaints with this brand include customer service and a lack of options at some levels compared to the competition.